TUSD headquarters

The Tucson Unified School District is gauging public support for a bond election as its search for a new superintendent gets underway.

Arizona Daily Star

Tucson Unified School District’s aging infrastructure will not get any better in the near future, after voters handily rejected a $180 million bond in Tuesday’s election.

District officials said the bond would cover only part of the immediately necessary upgrades to the district’s 86 schools and other hard assets, such as buses, school doors, fire alarms and fencing.

Voters shot that measure down by a margin of 41 to 59 percent after the vast majority of ballots were counted as of 7:20 p.m Tuesday. There is still an unknown number of provisional and uncounted ballots that will not be calculated until at least Wednesday, but not enough uncounted ballots for the bond to rebound.

The district has lost $136 million from the capital-funding formula set by the Legislature over the past decade, according to district officials. But after years of neglecting repairs, even the additional $180 million won’t solve the problem. District officials estimate the district’s real capital needs at $450 million.